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March Refunds Only - is there a "big black hole"


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Sorry for the slow update.  A few comments about questions asked by others.

 

We booked through MSC US because at the time, MSC had no Canadian presence. 

 

After being told we could cancel our cruise by the MSC Canada, we cancelled our flights, this was at the beginning of March.  Of course our ship actually sailed from Dubai, made one stop and ended up in Genoa which further complicated things because our ship actually sailed.

 

We were told we could rebook.  Then told we couldn't.  Got an agreement that they would refund us because there was no way to transfer a cruise credit between the US and Canada.  Told we would have our refund in 7 to 10 days.  This was at the beginning of March 2020.

 

Then all the COVID issues took a solid hold and we have been asking for our money back ever since.

 

Finally last week I got a phone call, an apology and a notification that our refund would be back to us in one to two billing cycles.

 

Now we will wait and see for the money to show up.

 

I was fortunate to book the cruise with a US credit card so my refund will go back to that card.  Funds will be used to book a future cruise.

 

 

 

 

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On 6/4/2021 at 12:19 AM, drsel said:

Aren't the US prices the lowest of all MSC country websites?

 

My experience is that it varies.  Last year we booked another trip and it was less expensive to book with MSC Canada that with MSC US.  Looked like they Canadians were getting a break on the exchange rate.

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7 hours ago, ken98230 said:

 

My experience is that it varies.  Last year we booked another trip and it was less expensive to book with MSC Canada that with MSC US.  Looked like they Canadians were getting a break on the exchange rate.

Have you factored in the 8% discount which US travel agents give you on the basic fare ( excluding port fees and taxes)?

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I don’t recall in that case but I normally shop extensively.  Usually I end up booking with a US based discount cruise agency unless it is a casino offer.

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On 6/5/2021 at 7:00 PM, ken98230 said:

Sorry for the slow update.  A few comments about questions asked by others.

 

We booked through MSC US because at the time, MSC had no Canadian presence. 

 

After being told we could cancel our cruise by the MSC Canada, we cancelled our flights, this was at the beginning of March.  Of course our ship actually sailed from Dubai, made one stop and ended up in Genoa which further complicated things because our ship actually sailed.

 

We were told we could rebook.  Then told we couldn't.  Got an agreement that they would refund us because there was no way to transfer a cruise credit between the US and Canada.  Told we would have our refund in 7 to 10 days.  This was at the beginning of March 2020.

 

Then all the COVID issues took a solid hold and we have been asking for our money back ever since.

 

Finally last week I got a phone call, an apology and a notification that our refund would be back to us in one to two billing cycles.

 

Now we will wait and see for the money to show up.

 

I was fortunate to book the cruise with a US credit card so my refund will go back to that card.  Funds will be used to book a future cruise.

 

 

I'm just finding a bit out about our FCC use.  We paid regular rate for passengers 1 & 2 and very reduced rates for passengers 3&4.  They split the FCC evenly amongst all now.  So if passengers 3 & 4 can't go, tough luck, you lose it and what passengers 1 & 2 get is a reduced FCC - even less than what we paid them.

 

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 4:25 AM, Couple-Somerset said:

Did any of you try the email addresses I gave a few posts ago? - I have no idea if they get through but unless people try we wont know (the "denied access to send email" reported by one person was more to do with their end I think and they didnt say if they then tried the other email)

 

 

I did try both emails. This is the reply: 

 

"richard.sasso@msccruisesusa.com (richard.sasso@msccruisesusa.com)
Your message couldn't be delivered to the recipient because you don't have permission to send to it.

Ask the recipient's email admin to add you to the accept list for the recipient.

For more information, see DSN 5.7.129 Errors in Exchange Online and Office 365."

 

This is the type of reply is when someone is emailing an internal email. My travel agent made us a new reservation for the Opera in March 2022. I still do not have a confirmations from MSC.  MSC is stalling with applying FCCs. I am so over MSC. They absolutely suck!

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On 6/3/2021 at 6:29 PM, juraspark said:

 

I thought Canadian bookings automatically went to a FCC which would only be refunded after Dec 31st, 2021.  See FAQ at bottom.

 

https://www.mscbook.com/shop/en-CA/mscb2bstoreca/promo/CRUISE-ITINERARY-UPDATES

Not all of us Canadians booked through mcs-Canada.

The link is total BS!  MSC has no intentions of doing business in an honest, responsible manner. I believed the info that we received in March 2020. That info was exactly the same as your provided link.

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On 6/4/2021 at 3:20 AM, drsel said:

Why do you say that?

When I paid for our cruise the US-CAD exchange rate was higher than when they refunded the OB & TXS. We received less money than we paid due to the US $ being weaker at the time of refund. 

 

On 6/3/2021 at 7:49 PM, Até said:

I'm aware but irrelevant, perhaps let ken98230 reply since that is who I directed my post to.

 Pardon me, I'll try to mind my own. I booked on USA as the Canadian site sucks and crashes and freezes and is irritating to try to negotiate.

On 6/4/2021 at 3:19 AM, drsel said:

Aren't the US prices the lowest of all MSC country websites?

If you factor in the exchange rate it is a considerably higher charge than booking directly with the US and paying the exchange on my credit card. It's this way with most things in life. A bottle of Canadian whiskey or case of beer is way cheaper even with exchange and paying duty at the border for example.

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Tried to use our FCC to book a cruise in Dec/21 and was told we'd have to pay blackout fees due to holidays. I had been told in May when I inquired that MSC was not charging blackout for the holidays. The person then suggested that rather than booking then; to wait and book later as we didn't know what was happening with the border & vaccines.

Called last week and was told it would be an extra $249 pp or $359 pp black out fee and a $400 deposit. Tried Nov 20/21 and was told same thing as Thanksgiving would be during the cruise. They don't charge extra for Can. Thanksgiving. She then suggested that I use our FCC 'another time'. This is directly with MSC-USA

Waited the many, many, many months for the refund and the FCC with was finally completed in Nov/20. The dozen phone calls and having to watch my cc statements for credits of the cancelation of 3 cruises with the switching of the ships for the Dec/20 booking and still not 1 email telling me that they were going to cancel anything or refund anything.

We are booked for 3 weeks in Cuba at a fantastic resort we discovered last December after our Xmas cruise was cancelled. It will cost us about the same as a 1 week holiday cruise with all the extra expenses with MSC. $1100 US + cost of getting to Florida & dining pkg & drink pkg. and the exchange rate to US $.

Happy cruising folks. We might use our FCC 'another time' or just ask for a refund when the $ gets stronger and the loss is less.

This is where I give up on MSC, I'm tired of the conflicting information on everything.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, juraspark said:

A bottle of Canadian whiskey or case of beer is way cheaper even with exchange and paying duty at the border for example.

You are absolutely right!  MSC Canada prices are around 5% less than MSC USA.

Does the Canadian site include gratuities or service charge?

What about prices on country websites like Italy, UK, etc?

Which MSc country website has the lowest price?

Edited by drsel
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8 hours ago, drsel said:

What about prices on country websites like Italy, UK, etc?

Which MSc country website has the lowest price?

From what I have seen from UK Youtube vloggers, UK pricing is about 20% less than US pricing.

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1 hour ago, notme2012 said:

From what I have seen from UK Youtube vloggers, UK pricing is about 20% less than US pricing.

Kindly provide the link of the YouTube videos which show this

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20 hours ago, notme2012 said:

I did try both emails. This is the reply: 

 

"richard.sasso@msccruisesusa.com (richard.sasso@msccruisesusa.com)
Your message couldn't be delivered to the recipient because you don't have permission to send to it.

Ask the recipient's email admin to add you to the accept list for the recipient.

For more information, see DSN 5.7.129 Errors in Exchange Online and Office 365."

 

This is the type of reply is when someone is emailing an internal email. My travel agent made us a new reservation for the Opera in March 2022. I still do not have a confirmations from MSC.  MSC is stalling with applying FCCs. I am so over MSC. They absolutely suck!

We tried both emails and got same thing which I reported at the time. 

 

CS - the issue is not on our end.  It is either not right email or being blocked on their end.  Other email address never responded.

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15 hours ago, drsel said:

You are absolutely right!  MSC Canada prices are around 5% less than MSC USA.

Does the Canadian site include gratuities or service charge?

What about prices on country websites like Italy, UK, etc?

Which MSc country website has the lowest price?

I'm not sure on the other sites as we were looking at sailing out of Florida.

The 12/30/21 9 nights we were looking at is $1854 CAD pp and $1382 US pp incl taxes. A difference of just over 34% more for the CAD booking. Current CAD-US rate is 21% so it's 13% more to book the MSC-Canada site than to book the MSC-US site. This works out to $492 CAD more in my pocket. A little steep as you still pay grat & serv. chrg in US funds.

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1 hour ago, notme2012 said:

Emma Cruises       Video for Costa at: 

 

Thanks for posting this, Emma is one of my favorite YouTube cruise enthusiasts. My wife and I have cruised twice with Costa, and we loved it both times. We liked it not in spite of the fact that it felt very European, but because of it. I should add that I’m also a big fan of Rick Steves and his philosophy of ‘living like a native’ when overseas. If you want everything to feel like you’re back in the States or in Britain, you will definitely be disappointed. But if you are adventurous and you want to feel like you’re in Europe, Costa is a great choice. Also, maybe because we are Americans or because we bought the drink package, but we never once paid for any drinks, including bottled water. The pizza was free on our first cruise but there was a nominal fee for the second one, and it was worth every penny. Costa is reasonably priced to start with, so you’re not really going to go broke buying an occasional pizza. It’s funny how something is a negative to one person and is a positive for the other. For instance, I learned a lot of new words by seeing everything written in five different languages. To me that was a plus. My wife also loved being seated next to nothing but Italians, because we both speak the language and it was wonderful to learn while on vacation.
But again, if you’re monolingual and you only want to be surrounded by people who are just like you, then I say stay away from Costa. But if you like to learn new things and really feel like you’re in Europe, it’s a great choice.  

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11 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thanks for posting this, Emma is one of my favorite YouTube cruise enthusiasts. My wife and I have cruised twice with Costa, and we loved it both times. We liked it not in spite of the fact that it felt very European, but because of it. I should add that I’m also a big fan of Rick Steves and his philosophy of ‘living like a native’ when overseas. If you want everything to feel like you’re back in the States or in Britain, you will definitely be disappointed. But if you are adventurous and you want to feel like you’re in Europe, Costa is a great choice. Also, maybe because we are Americans or because we bought the drink package, but we never once paid for any drinks, including bottled water. The pizza was free on our first cruise but there was a nominal fee for the second one, and it was worth every penny. Costa is reasonably priced to start with, so you’re not really going to go broke buying an occasional pizza. It’s funny how something is a negative to one person and is a positive for the other. For instance, I learned a lot of new words by seeing everything written in five different languages. To me that was a plus. My wife also loved being seated next to nothing but Italians, because we both speak the language and it was wonderful to learn while on vacation.
But again, if you’re monolingual and you only want to be surrounded by people who are just like you, then I say stay away from Costa. But if you like to learn new things and really feel like you’re in Europe, it’s a great choice.  

Costa and MSC both have huge presence in Europe. @drselwanted examples of European pricing. She isn't the only that has mentioned week long cruises for roughly $400, including drinks and airfares. But she is the one that I distinctly remembered having low pricing before and after Covid.

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After 6 months of relentlessly trying to get a refund for a cruise in March of 2020, I finally was able to get a "future cruise credit" around October of 2020.  I was also told that the government fees would be credited back to me.  The latter never happened, by the way.  Yesterday my travel agent tried to book another cruise for me with MSC, using the future cruise credit as partial payment (I was going to spend an additional $5,000 for the cruise).  She was told that the future cruise credit had been given in error, that it had been voided and that I had been informed of all of this via an email.  NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.  I never received such an email and there is absolutely no reason for MSC to void the future cruise credit.  What is wrong with MSC?  Any suggestions?

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3 minutes ago, Big Timber said:

After 6 months of relentlessly trying to get a refund for a cruise in March of 2020, I finally was able to get a "future cruise credit" around October of 2020.  I was also told that the government fees would be credited back to me.  The latter never happened, by the way.  Yesterday my travel agent tried to book another cruise for me with MSC, using the future cruise credit as partial payment (I was going to spend an additional $5,000 for the cruise).  She was told that the future cruise credit had been given in error, that it had been voided and that I had been informed of all of this via an email.  NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.  I never received such an email and there is absolutely no reason for MSC to void the future cruise credit.  What is wrong with MSC?  Any suggestions?

It's hard for me to offer any advice, there's so much we don't know about your particular situation. For instance:

1. Why are you trying to get a refund for a cruise in March 2020? Did you cancel or was the cruise cancelled? (I'm guessing it was cancelled by MSC due to Covid but I don't know your situation)

2. If you cancelled, when did you do that? Were you beyond final payment period?

3. What were the terms of the refund? Were asking for a cash refund or did you want FCC? Also, typically MSC refunds the government taxes to your credit card. Did you check with your credit card issuer? Did you close the card in the meantime?

4. What reason did your TA give as the FCC having been given in error? Who told her that? What was that person's name?

5. You say you never received an email. When was it supposedly sent? Are you sure it didn't go to your junk mail folder?

 

We had a cruise cancelled by MSC in April 2020 for a cruise that was supposed to happen in May 2020. We asked for and received a FCC three weeks later. So to answer your question as best I can, there's nothing wrong with MSC.

I know I asked you a lot of questions but it's impossible to make a determination without knowing all of the facts.

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Big Timber said:

After 6 months of relentlessly trying to get a refund for a cruise in March of 2020, I finally was able to get a "future cruise credit"

....there is absolutely no reason for MSC to void the future cruise credit.

Since you originally asked for a REFUND, that is why the FCC was voided.

 

From my experience, if the refund amount is large, it gets substantially delayed. Small refunds of $99, 198, 398 have been paid after 2 months.

 

Large refunds will take much longer. How much was the REFUND amount you originally requested?

Edited by drsel
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1 hour ago, DCGuy64 said:

It's hard for me to offer any advice, there's so much we don't know about your particular situation. For instance:

1. Why are you trying to get a refund for a cruise in March 2020? Did you cancel or was the cruise cancelled? (I'm guessing it was cancelled by MSC due to Covid but I don't know your situation)

2. If you cancelled, when did you do that? Were you beyond final payment period?

3. What were the terms of the refund? Were asking for a cash refund or did you want FCC? Also, typically MSC refunds the government taxes to your credit card. Did you check with your credit card issuer? Did you close the card in the meantime?

4. What reason did your TA give as the FCC having been given in error? Who told her that? What was that person's name?

5. You say you never received an email. When was it supposedly sent? Are you sure it didn't go to your junk mail folder?

 

We had a cruise cancelled by MSC in April 2020 for a cruise that was supposed to happen in May 2020. We asked for and received a FCC three weeks later. So to answer your question as best I can, there's nothing wrong with MSC.

I know I asked you a lot of questions but it's impossible to make a determination without knowing all of the facts.

 

I was going to respond to you point by point, however, just received an email from my travel agent saying that MSC had just called her, apologized for the erroneous information the agent had given her about my future cruise credit being voided, and that they would now start processing my new reservation but that it would take a day or two.  Therefore, I will withhold further judgement.  I do appreciate it when a mistake has been acknowledged.  However, I will say that I regularly check my credit card purchases and credits (and it is now over 6 months since I was told that MSC would credit back my government fees) and MSC has never followed through with this.  I also always look at my junk mail before deleting.  

You are a lucky person to receive your FCC in three weeks, however, if you note that your cruise was scheduled for April and this topic is "March Refunds Only---is there a Big Black Hole" indicates that there were others who had a difficult time dealing with the March, 2020 cruises.

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2 minutes ago, Big Timber said:

I was going to respond to you point by point, however, just received an email from my travel agent saying that MSC had just called her, apologized for the erroneous information the agent had given her about my future cruise credit being voided, and that they would now start processing my new reservation but that it would take a day or two.  Therefore, I will withhold further judgement.  I do appreciate it when a mistake has been acknowledged.  However, I will say that I regularly check my credit card purchases and credits (and it is now over 6 months since I was told that MSC would credit back my government fees) and MSC has never followed through with this.  I also always look at my junk mail before deleting.  

You are a lucky person to receive your FCC in three weeks, however, if you note that your cruise was scheduled for April and this topic is "March Refunds Only---is there a Big Black Hole" indicates that there were others who had a difficult time dealing with the March, 2020 cruises.

Our cruise wasn't scheduled for April, it was scheduled for May 2020. I know that sometime prior to May, MSC made the decision to cancel our cruise due to Covid. Whether they did it in April or March, I honestly don't remember. I just know that it was after final payment date. And you're correct about the title of the thread, but people very often bring in extraneous information about different months, topics, even other cruise lines, so the title of the thread isn't (unfortunately) a guarantee that every post is relevant to it. It also wasn't clear from your prior post whether you'd asked for a cash refund or a future cruise credit. In any case, it's great that your agent was contacted. Let's hope it all works out now.

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4 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Our cruise wasn't scheduled for April, it was scheduled for May 2020. I know that sometime prior to May, MSC made the decision to cancel our cruise due to Covid. Whether they did it in April or March, I honestly don't remember. I just know that it was after final payment date. And you're correct about the title of the thread, but people very often bring in extraneous information about different months, topics, even other cruise lines, so the title of the thread isn't (unfortunately) a guarantee that every post is relevant to it. It also wasn't clear from your prior post whether you'd asked for a cash refund or a future cruise credit. In any case, it's great that your agent was contacted. Let's hope it all works out now.

Thanks.  I read your original post wrong and thought your cruise was in April rather than that was when it was cancelled.  Cheers.

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I've posted either here or another thread it took ten months from March 2020 to get fees and taxes back.  It was 14 months before FCC kind of showed up, but only 100%.

 

We've been through what, three different versions of terms for FCC.  Ours was very generic and no real limits.  Now we are being held to as more stringent set of terms in use.

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